Smiggle holds talks with landlords to lower rent costs

Smiggle Just Group
// Smiggle plans to negotiate rent costs with landlords
// Australian retailer began a huge expansion drive in the UK in 2014 and now runs 130 stores

Smiggle has reportedly held talks with landlords about reducing the rent it pays across its stores amid a poor trading experience.

The Australian stationary and accessories retailer began a huge expansion drive in the UK in 2014 and currently runs around 130 stores.

A source close to the retailer told Property Week said:“They have been fully open with landlords that trade has not been as good as they expected at these stores.

“It has contacted landlords at all sites where turnover is not hitting expectations.

“The reaction has been a bit mixed. Some landlords have been brutal in their stance saying ‘you agreed these rents; now you need to pay them’, while others have opened a dialogue with them and are trying to work out a solution.”

The source also told Property Week that a “mixed bag” of stores were struggling with trading and that those affected were not necessarily the ones with the highest rents.

Smiggle’s expansion ambitions in the UK also includes a two-storey flagship on London’s Oxford Street last year.

According to its most recent accounts filed at Companies House, Smiggle posted a 92 per cent increase in revenues to £55.7 million in the year to July 2017.

Meanwhile, its pre-tax profit rose from £3.8 million to £10.8 million, which Smiggle’s managing director John Cheston said was boosted by online sales.

It has yet to file accounts for 2018.

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